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Discover south tyrol
The pleasure of tasting
Holidays in the South Tyrolean farmsteads
A chat with our farmers
Origin & Terroir
In conversation with Stefan Klotzner
mountain air and Mediterranean climate
, South Tyrol - Südtirol is the Marlene
Plenty of sunshine, fertile soil and temperature differences between day and night that help give the fruit its vivid colours
: we have all of this in abundance. In South Tyrol - Südtirol we cultivate apples at between 200 and 1000 metres above sea level with every variety grown at its optimum altitude. Given also the rich variety, we farmers know how to evaluate the ideal growing conditions. Our focus is to produce Marlene
apples with unmistakeable flavour.
Do you want to know how I translate all of this into my work? Let me tell you.
My name is
Stefan Klotzner and I come from Scena
(a small town close to Merano) where I live and work with my family at the
. A real source of pride for me. In terms of surface area the Lothhof is perfect. I can live off apple cultivation, I don’t need to worry about a second source of income and I can completely devote myself to the work at the farmhouse.
Our family has run the Lothhof for 13 generations.
The numerous documents we have conserved enable me to trace my family tree all the way back to 1615! But this is not the only detail that makes my farmhouse so special.
The Lothhof is located 700 metres above sea level. Compared with the farmhouses in the valley, its position on the hillside gives it an enormous advantage:
the evening sun, which is ideal for excellent apples.
Nevertheless, there are some drawbacks to our advantageous location.
Working at the farmhouse isn’t straightforward because
you are almost never on the flat
. However, our lands offer something in return: they are perfect for cultivating apples. That said, producing apples is no walk in the park.
The ideal soil
should neither be too rich in humus
nor overly acidic, and
apple trees definitely do not like stagnant water
, but luckily this is not a problem in the hills. In any case, we leave nothing to chance.
At least once every five years we take a
from each field.
Based on the values, we fertilise the land, even if only a minimal part
. For example, too much nitrogen would impair the vivid colour of the apples. It is important that the soil contains
a balanced mix of nutritional substances
so I always pay particular attention to this aspect.
Wherever possible, I try to nourish the soil naturally: during mulching the grass in the orchards is cut and chopped up, the rest is down to nature. The
slowly decomposes on the soil
providing the right quantity of nitrogen and making it fertile for a long time to come.
I think that
the history of fruit growing in South Tyrol - Südtirol
, connected with the trips people used to make to Merano for medical care,
is very interesting
. Because of its
, nobles and the well-to-do used to come from far afield to spend a couple of months receiving medical treatment here. As a result, a railway was built over the Brenner Pass and as far as Merano and this also gave farmers the chance to send their apples to Europe. That is not all though: there are other factors that have made South Tyrol the apple paradise.
In terms of preservation techniques we South Tyroleans have always been pioneers. While a hundred years ago all apples had to be consumed by Christmas, now we can enjoy them fresh all year round. And rather than sitting on our hands we have joined forces to give new impetus to the apple cultivation industry with
innovative and cutting-edge techniques.
One of the advantages of these developments is without doubt the
materials we receive from nurseries
. When I was young the seedlings produced their first apples after six or seven years, but
we only have to wait
four or five years for a first abundant harvest
. But hold on, it is still a long process...
When I prepare a new orchard I firstly uproot the old trees and remove the wire structure, then
I plough the earth with a digger
. Back in the day my granddad had another way of
turning the soil
: he would dig holes and fill them with stones. Whenever I find stones I always imagine they were part of one of my grandfather’s little piles.
To finish, I position the
for the plants and the
. Now we can’t do without them because they protect the harvest. After planting the new trees we prune all the branches. And we must not forget the
! We use
so the plants receive exactly the quantity of water that they require.
Apples are not produced in the first year, that would be too amazing. But they start to grow in the second year and I am really happy when I see the trees full of
A WORD WITH OUR FARMERS
Hardly anyone knows as much about the cultivation of apples as our farmers. We met our experts for a short chat.
Discover south tyrol
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